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From Tony Stevenson <t...@pc-tony.com>
Subject Re: Hosting Windows servers in Apache
Date Wed, 01 Jul 2009 09:18:57 GMT

Please see my responses inline.

On 30 Jun 2009, at 23:47, Kamaljit Bath wrote:

> Hi,
> I am a committer on the Apache Stonehenge incubator project [1] that  
> Microsoft is participating in. We have had some discussions around  
> hosting some Stonehenge related end-points on Apache servers within  
> the Stonehenge mailing list [2] which will need hosting a Windows  
> Server.
> Daniel Kulp, a mentor for Stonehenge, has discussed this with Joe  
> and I want to follow-up with some questions around what will it take  
> to host Windows servers. I understand from Daniel that this is on  
> your future plans but would like to understand the prioritization  
> better and discuss if there is anything we can do to help expedite it.
> At this point, I am simply trying to understand the issue from your  
> point of view and based on the information, will discuss with my  
> other Microsoft colleagues if and how we may be able to help and  
> will get back to you with that thinking as soon as we have something  
> to share. I do not know at this point if we will have the resources  
> to help with it or not but if I can get an idea of what is involved,  
> then I can lead those discussions within Microsoft.
> Can you share if this is indeed in your this year's fiscal plan and  
> if you have an ETA for it? When does ASF's fiscal year end? What are  
> the constraints that you are working against?

I don't see it in the current plan, as I don't see a formal request  
for any such
resources in JIRA.  We don't do such work without a JIRA being opened  
for it.
If such a request has been made I apologise but I cant see it.

> Here are some factors that Daniel thinks will play into your  
> decision making. Can you shed some light on these?
> 1) Hardware - need a high end x86 box with lots of memory.   This is  
> a budget
> matter.
> - what kind of machine are you looking for and will it help if we  
> can fund this? Can we partially fund it to support you?

We do not currently have spare hardware to run any Windows based  
systems on.  At least not
with the requirements as were mentioned in the past.

> 2) Software - VMWare server license, Windows Licenses, etc....
> - we can certainly arrange for Windows and other Microsoft software  
> licenses. Can we work with Microsoft Hyper-V environment instead of  
> VMWare (easier for us to arrange budgets for that)? Can we build up  
> a complete list of software requirements?

We would be extremely unlikely to run Hyper-V, much like we only have  
1 instance of VMware,
this is because there is a lack of trust and limited knowledge in the  
Infra team.  I have
plenty of commercial experience especially with ESX and other VMware  
products, but only
having one person able to support it is a recipe for disaster.

If we were to use a virtualisation platform then I would probably want  
it to be VMware as
this will allow us to run other platforms on this box.  We don't  
usually have any one box
that is dedicated to a specific project.

> 3) Power - There was some discussions a while ago about the rack we  
> have running low on power so adding machines may require another  
> rack or something.
> - how much is the budget constraint for this and what kind of help  
> can we provide?

This is still an issue, and unfortunately it is not one of our budget,  
it is constrained
by the power issues at our main .US colo  (OSUOSL).  This is being  
worked on, and IIRC it
should be resolved this summer.  However that doesn't mean we cant fit  
one more machine
in the rack, it just means we need to be conscious of the power draw.

> 4) IP addresses - virtualization sucks up ip addresses.   :-)
> - can you please elaborate? Is there anything we can do to help?

We have a /24 IP block at both our main colo sites, which we are no  
where near exhausting,
yet.  If you plan on deploying 200 VMs then we might have an issue,  
but at the moment we
should be ok.

> 5) Time/Knowledge - the INFRA team is busy working on the LDAP  
> transition and
> getting that project done.     I'm not sure if anyone would have the  
> time to
> learn how to get the windows stuff setup and manage it, let alone  
> actually doing it.
> -    We can think about bringing some initial help to set everything  
> up (remotely) and maintain it for some time. But what will be your  
> long-term maintenance plans? Will this machine also be used for  
> other Apache projects outside of Stonehenge? Who will maintain those  
> environments?

Heh.  At the moment I am one of the few people with experience of  
VMware within the Infra
team, and I happen to be working on the LDAP project too.   =)  I am  
also one of the few
people in the Infra team who will publicly admit to having supported a  
variety of MS
platforms and products, for over 12 years.

All hardware we use will need to have a support agreement with the  
vendor, especially if
that hardware will be used to host public facing services.  All our  
hosting is remote
from the majority of the members of the Infra team so having this  
support ensures we can
have faulty parts swapped with the minimum of fuss.


Tony Stevenson

tony@pc-tony.com - pctony@apache.org
pctony@freenode.net - tony@caret.cam.ac.uk


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